“And now I commend you to God and to the message of his grace, a message that is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all who are sanctified. I coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothing. You know for yourselves that I worked with my own hands to support myself and my companions. In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:32-35 (NRSV)
Opening with the tune “Jingle Bell Rock”, the viewer is prepped for a feel good, Christmas story and Lethal Weapon certainly delivers. One of the main characters, Detective Riggs (played by Mel Gibson), is introduced to the viewer while buying a Christmas Tree (the scene also includes buying cocaine since Riggs is undercover) and the Christmas spirit continues throughout the movie with decorations, trees and general merriment (along with shootings and an impressive body count). The movie was so successful it launched several sequels and cemented the reputation of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover (Detective Murtagh) as the ultimate Buddy Cop team.
But even more impressive is the back story of the main characters themselves. One on the edge of retirement and concerned he might have outlived his usefulness, the other struggling with suicidal thoughts and an overly aggressive behavior. As one would expect (or at least hope) in this type of movie, both of these characters are able to move past their own concerns and instead focus on helping each other and the world at large. And isn’t that what the Christmas season is all about? It is better to give than receive, any parent knows this. And Riggs and Murtagh are perfectly paired to give until it hurts, just hopefully hurting the bad guys more.
In the end, good triumphs. In the end, these two go from barely putting up with each other to adopting each other into their family. In the end, Christmas is about giving as Christ gave to us. Good luck!
Giver of every good and perfect gift, we thank You that as we come to faith in Jesus Christ so we are blessed in discovering the truth of finding great joy in giving. You loved us first enabling us to love others. You have first given to us enabling us to give to others. Help us to rediscover the joy in giving to others this Christmas. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.